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Southend-on-Sea was the venue for the 2016 National Skills Finals this summer – the biggest annual diving event at this level, with 257 divers taking part from across Great Britain and guest divers from Dubai and Ireland all competing for the title of National Champion within their age range.
Divers below the age of 14 compete over a total of 12 dives/jumps with four from each of the poolside, 1m and 3m springboard. Over the age of 14, the divers perform six dives each from the 1m and 3m springboard.
The SDA team consisted of 40 young divers, aged from 9 to 16, who gave first class performances to produce four National Champions, one silver and one bronze medalist over the weekend and a further 20 divers achieving top ten placings.
Day one saw Bryn James get off to a fantastic start in the Boys 10 years category, diving his way to a silver medal in a field of 20 divers, scoring a rare 9 on the 3m springboard. In the Girls 12 years, there was no stopping Maya Kutty who gave an incredible performance with a plethora of 9s and 9½ on the 3m board – Maya claimed SDA’s first gold medal of the competition a clear 15.1 point ahead of second place.
In a nail biting final in Girls 13 years, SDA’s Annabel Foster, relatively new to the sport having moved across from gymnastics only a year ago, snatched the gold medal by 0.10 of a point with only 0.20 points separating first and third place.
Onto day two and feeling inspired by SDA’s performance on the Saturday the Boys 12 years were first to start and SDA were dominant! Nathan Bull gave a brilliant performance scoring a host of 9s and 9½ on the 3m springboard with an overall score of 329.15 to take the gold. Nathan was joined on the podium by bronze medalist Oliver Cazaly who gave an impressive performance a clear 11 points ahead of fourth place.
SDA ended the day and the competition on a high with Alfie Lakeman-Brown taking gold in the last competition of the day. Scoring an impressive 40.70 on a 1m dive helping him to secure 1st place in Boys 14-16 years!
Many of these young divers have come through the programme’s “Talent Identification” scheme and their solid performances and great results perfectly illustrate the effectiveness of this initiative. The club is hopeful that the solid foundations set in these early stages will be a great platform to build on for the future.
Senior SDA Diving Coach, Jack Clewlow, was clearly pleased with the results “I was delighted with the performance of the Southampton divers. It demonstrates the high quality of diving that is going on at this level of the sport within our programme.”
For more information about Southampton Diving Academy please call the team on 023 8072 0922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Girls 9 years:
Anjali Kutty 5th, Maija Adamson 17th
Boys 9 years:
James Nicholson 7th, Luke Hardy 12th
Boys 10 years:
Bryn James 2nd, Jamie Akerman 5th,
Girls 11 years:
Leila Coupal 26th
Boys 11 years:
Oliver Covell 5th, Illan Stead 8th, Bevan Woolley 9th
Girls 12 years:
Maya Kutty 1st, Olive Ullyatt 8th, Lucy Chandler 18th
Boys 12 years:
Nathan Bull 1st, Oliver Cazaly 3rd, Jacob Smith 6th, Isaac Beard 8th, Kai Lanham 9th, Samuel Stevens 14th
Girls 13 years:
Annabel Foster 1st, Astrid Davis 4th, Holly Hopgood 12th, Victoria Low 16th
Boys 13 years:
Max Targett 5th, Hamish Lindsay 8th, Dylan Jewitt 9th, Thomas MacFadyen 11th
Girls 14/16 years:
Chloe Harrington 4th, Ella Anderson 5th, Suzanna Burt 6th, Megan Curtis 7th, India Bari 27th, Kelsey Mills 28th, Chloe Davis 29th
Boys 14/16 years:
Alfie Lakeman-Brown 1st, Jacob Batchelor 12th, Jamie Bevan 13th, Oscar Kitchen 19th